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Hawaii FAQ's

Have a general question about traveling to Hawaii you’d like answered? Feel free to ask us at newsletter@greathawaiivacations.com You just might see it in the next issue!

Q.  How far in advance should I book my trip?

A.  This is an easy one… as far in advance as you can! Now, booking a trip for the summer of 2007 in the spring of 2005 may be a bit of a stretch, but the sooner you book your trip the better off you’ll be. Airfare usually becomes available about nine months out. So, if you want to travel at the end of December the earliest you can book your flights is the beginning of March. Hawaii isn’t considered a last-minute destination, so you don’t have the same last-minute deals that are offered to other destinations (Vegas, Florida, etc.). Plus, the airfare tends to be cheaper and there’s better availability at the properties. You’ll be much happier that you got the details out of the way so you can look forward to your trip.

Of course, booking that far out in advance leaves one question: if I reserve so early and something happens and I need to cancel, now what? Well, to answer that question there is trip insurance available for flights and most of the properties. It usually starts around $34/person and can protect you against change and cancellation fees through the last business day before you depart. Ask your travel consultant for details.

Q.  Are there any private beaches?

A.  Well no, but yes. Technically, the only “private” beach on any of the islands is a little section of sand roped off in front of the Sheraton Moana Surfrider in Waikiki. Since this property is so old they actually had a section of the beach “grandfathered in” when the rest of Waikiki was developed.  But, aside from that small sliver of sand, everything else on the islands is up for grabs. If you can get there, you can relax there. Of course, the getting there can be the tricky part. Be sure to look for signs indicating private property. The beach may not be private, but the land surrounding it could be. That said, there are plenty of beautiful beaches on all of the islands with easy access. You don’t need to risk trespassing to get to the most well-known beaches.

Q.  Do I actually get one of those flower things around my neck as soon as I step off the plane?

A.  Those flower "things" are called leis, and no, you don’t automatically get one when you land.  Many people are under the impression that the moment you step off the plane in Hawaii there are smiling Hawaiians there to greet you with flower leis. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t get them. Lei greetings are something that can be added to your package and usually cost between $10-20/person depending on the island. Ask your travel consultant for details.

Q.  When’s the best time to go to Hawaii?

A.  The obvious answer is when you have the time to go there. We don’t recommend going for less than three days unless it’s for a special reason (wedding, graduation, etc.). With that said, the islands tend to be the least busy in May and mid-September through mid-December with Thanksgiving week being the only exception. Availability is good, flights are cheap and there are typically more specials available since the properties consider this their “low season”.

Q.  The condo I’m thinking about renting doesn’t have air-conditioning . Is that going to be a problem?

A.  This depends on a few things, such as where the property is located and the time of year you’re traveling.  Oceanfront properties tend to get good cross breezes from the tradewinds when you leave your windows open and the ceiling fans on. It can, however, be a tad uncomfortable between August and October since that’s when the tradewinds subside.

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